Magnussen aims to be like Thorpe
Australian swimmer James Magnussen hopes to develop an air of invincibility in the sport similar to that which Ian Thorpe once enjoyed.
Magnussen, the 100metres freestyle world champion, is being hotly tipped for glory in London this summer at what will be his first Olympics.
The 21-year-old has taken great inspiration over the years from watching five-time Olympic champion Thorpe - whose comeback bid to make the team for London proved unsuccessful - in action in the pool.
And having viewed Thorpe at his peak as a dead-cert winner every time he took to the water, Magnussen would love to be regarded by the public in the same way.
"I grew up as a young kid watching Thorpey and I guess the part of his racing and mentality that I would like to bring to the table is the fact that every time I as a member of the public watched Thorpey race on TV, there was never any doubt in my mind that he was going to win," Magnussen said.
"If people back in Australia could say 'it's James Magnussen's race coming on TV - it's a sure thing', I think that is a pretty special thing.
"It is something Thorpey was able to sustain for a number of years and something I'd like to sustain as well."
Magnussen is set to fight for gold in the 50m and 100m freestyle races in London with Brazil's Cesar Cielo, champion over the shorter distance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the world record-holder over both.
It is a spicy-looking rivalry between the pair, with Magnussen - who earlier this year swam the fastest 100m freestyle time in history to be achieved in a textile suit - admitting Cielo has been "pretty vocal" in the build-up to the Games.
But while he is expecting Cielo's presence to help drive him on in London, Magnussen is keen to stress that there is no ill-feeling on his part towards the South American.
"It's good to have someone like Cesar," Magnussen - speaking at the Australian team's pre-Olympic camp in Manchester - said.
"The way I feel is that the better the field is in London, the bigger the result if I'm able to win it, so I'm really glad to have Cesar there.
"I'm sure he'll be pushing the pace early on in the race, and that is something that I'm able to feed off.
"He is pretty vocal, but I guess having only raced him once at a big meet before, it's not really a rivalry that has come to a head too often.
"It is hard to say what our relationship will be come London, but certainly it is not a grudge match at this point."